Yul Brenner wore those trousers of his with such
a flair we, who were his admirers, couldn’t keep from watching The King and
I, over and over. He danced about the sumptuous castle, barefoot, dressed in
his rich silks and those blousing pants, but we of the west were never
critical. How could we be? He was elegant, aloof, handsome and, indeed,
kingly. Sometimes though, I did wonder how that garb on his legs was
Yesterday evening at the International Club
meeting was time for me to learn. The girl in charge of the program came to
her center position wearing those same pants. Was I ever surprised to see
how simple it was to create this garment. There was a sparkle in the girls
eye as she passed drawn diagrams around of a little boy being outfitted with
a long rectangle, sewn together at the ends so that it became a kind of
tube. The pictures showed him putting the rectangle around him and then
pulling the extra length in front down between his legs and up to the waist
in back and attaching it there. Our speaker informed them that the garment
had been banned.
This clever young woman who was educating us
about her culture began to tell us about games the children play. She held
our attention as she took a large banana leaf, stripped all the green from
it except on the very end. She then proceeded to show us how the children
used it as a stick horse, just as our kids use a stick to pretend they are
riding. The advantage of their horse was that it already has a tail.
In a box this girl had all the ingredients to
make curry. She passed the box and we were able to see, smell, nibble on
some of the things she used. I had no idea all that was in curry. She even
showed us how to buy a good morter and pestle just by hearing the tone of it
as she tapped the morter with the pestle.
The girl had everyone joining with her while
she sang a song in her language. Across from her, another person held her
hands to form a bridge for the others to go under, just like London Bridge.
The game was the same but the words were different. Everyone was amazed at
the thought that half way across the world children played the same games.
As usual the evening was a wonderful break
from this up and down Oklahoma winter and, of course, from tiresome indoor
chores that can become so boring. After coming home, the next day I
immediately went to finish a job I had put off for so long, that of putting
a color I wanted in the bathroom. The wall turned out well and that is what
good people, sweet sharing of children’s games and, just an overall break
from monotony can do for me.